Dinkytown: The Sexual Nature of Creativity

     I notice her walk in. Here in this space, art covers the walls and books a plenty sit on the shelves. You can look at Dinkytown two ways. One, it’s a cesspool of drunken undergraduate fraternity and sorority house residents and their friends. Multiple cop cars populate the block routinely each weekend. Raging hormones and sexual energy drives propelled by too much alcohol, weed, and blow frequently erupting into chaos. Two, it’s the beginning of many of a young man’s and woman’s adult life. All this variety makes me happy. It’s like Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley, street bums freshly arrived into town from corn fields in Iowa and cow pastures in North Dakota. Hitched a train here, there’s not much of a Dinkytown Uprising anymore. It’s not the 1960’s. That’s largely been squelched by the Instagram selfie and the Snapchat filter. Take a selfie with a singing street urchin on your way to the Kitty Cat Klub, it’s cheaper than Honey!

     One can be cynical and turn your nose up to it all, the absurdity of young adulthood in a “typical college town” in American in 2017, but not me. For me, it’s an opportunity for a psychic restart. Repping out my fifth set of squats last night at Los Campeones I seriously joked with my iron brother about the identity of place and how strong I feel it influences my overall state of mind. A move from Uptown to Dinkytown is a move from a bougie hood with overpriced condominiums and shitty trendy ‘Merican bars to a place where street bums squatting on the sidewalk brighten my day. It’s subtle. I once verbally fought three cops, almost getting arrested last year, in front of the Uptown Apple Store who were sweeping the street clean of a drunk depressed African-American man in front. He was “bad for business.” One less $700 iPhone sold with each of his prayerful swigs of Colt 45. GOD IN HEAVEN IF YOU ARE REAL MAKE IT STOP! As on Telegraph, in Dinktown the kindness of youth patronizes the lives of the homeless, drunk, and destitute. They might be depressed or schizophrenic. The Dinkytown young might not know the difference, but I do. I know, not that I’ve been there exactly. I mean I did have a car to live in, but that line is thin and now I see this from a different place. I am not that old, but my iron brother said “you have a young energy.”

     I always notice her walk in. Sometimes she smiles, and most of the times he grimaces. I smile back and laugh. Next door, I saw the man who dances in cowboy boots and a gothed out skirt at Ground Zero every Saturday night at Bondage-A-Go-Go. I laughed when he said, “I live downtown but come here to feel young.” I said so do I, but I live here, and I am young. I live here to play, and to sit in The Bookhouse to gorge on poetry and Heidegger. It’s like Moe’s Books on Telegraph. It’s not that far away where I was Benjamin and she was Mrs. Robinson in the film The Graduate:

  Mrs. Robinson: Benjamin, I am not trying to seduce you.
Benjamin: I know that, but please, Mrs. Robinson, this is difficult…
Mrs. Robinson: Would you like me to seduce you?
Benjamin: What?
Mrs. Robinson: Is that what you’re trying to tell me?
Benjamin: I’m going home now. I apologize for what I said. I hope you can forget it,         but I’m going home right now.

      Those memories are fresh, but distant here. Mrs. Robinson and I used to dance tango at the Loring Pasta Bar. We used to get pizza at Meza afterwards, but we did not live here in a Dinkytown hovel. The sense of belonging to a place is very strong and is where many of the recent conversations I have had lead. What does it mean to be a self-actualized being? I think, only many years later, it is to know where you come from. It is to know your bloodline and DNA. Not in some kind of fascistic Trumpian way, rather in a way that erases “whiteness” and populates it with diversity. You could be Irish, and be traumatized from a history with the British. You might be a W.A.S.P., traumatized by the pressures of your money and privilege. Religion is here, ethnicity of faith. Peace in the Holy Land, that land of deep passion, good and bad, can be had here over a bowl of hummus and pita at Wally’s Falafel and Hummus. I saw while living in Uptown in Jerusalem: A Cookbook the following:

  Hummus is everybody’s favorite food in Jerusalem, and when you talk about               something that is so common to everybody but in a place that’s so highly divided in    many ways, it is already a formula for explosion in many ways. Everybody wants to    take ownership of that plate of hummus, both Jews and Arabs, and when this argument  starts, there’s no end to it…

     You could be Jewish-American and not sure what it means to be Orthodox or reformed. You could be Turkish-American and not sure what it means to not know your mother tongue or faith, but feel that you don’t quite fit here despite being here. There’s only one way to know who you are here, but I can’t name it. I cannot put it into language. Words elude me. It’s in the silence of place itself. It might be to find the trace of your childhood in the ordinary spaces that populate your mundane day. The subtle ways we relate to homogeneity with difference. Asserting our individuality and identity as a rebellion against a bleach that seeks to turn everything the same. This might be the key to creativity and love today for me. I cannot speak for anyone else. I’ll just observe and pray, meditate on these small moments. Another smile and another meal. One more day at work, on and on. To what end I don’t know, but I am alive and thankful for it. I always notice her walk in, and offer a smile.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

IBM Watson Analysis of my Blog’s Posts from the First Month at Princeton Theological Seminary: A Prelude to an App/Web Based Art Therapy Online Platform for Poetry

Spreadsheet of Raw Data.

Spreadsheet of raw outputs from IBM Watson Tone Analyzer analysis of each blog post from my blog writing in August 2012 at Princeton Theological Seminary. Watson breaks down writing into three attributes: emotion, language style, and social tendency. Expand the table to view the entire output.

No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell.”

  • Antonin Artaud

So far in the proceedings of this Medium page, I have written out what was troubling me regarding the end of my relationship with my wife and how the recent fragmentation with the relationship with Yana brought back many of those old memories. I have avoided thinking about “being productive” and “moving on” because I wanted to learn what was perhaps a source of why these relationships did not work out. For a couple months, I’d write poems in the place I was at and try to capture how that environment made me feel with words as well as place into language the sentiments and feelings that came with that place. The Artaud quote above is a favorite, as it simply states the reasons why we create anything as people. What I have been driven to in conversation after conversation recently is how much in common we all have with each other. We all suffer, and what binds us together is the language we use to relate. Language broadly defined. What you say and write, as well as the clothes you wear, the body language you use, and even the perfume or deodorant you put on.

How we attract or repel each other is very similar to the way that atoms make and/or break bonds. As a chemist, I see it that way. For eight years, I have wandered in my life. Mourning the loss of the ability to do academic chemistry at a high level, I entered years of rollercoaster ups and downs. All the while in this walk though I was learning something. I gathered a lot of first hand experiences about how the “real world” works outside the confines of elite academics and learned a great deal about how people like to engage each other and higher and lower things. A common theme that appears over and over is that art and creativity, individuality and personal expression are very important to most people. I started finding a lot of hope and guidance in poetry and music. Visual arts and dance too, all formed central ways that I started to relate to people in new ways. I started a fairly regular habit of blogging several times a week and that eventually became a place where I would share poems and other ideas that came to me.

About a year ago, I started to pay attention to the release of commercial artificial intelligence software (AI). I imagined that it might be an interesting tool to use to merge the two sides of my personality, artist and scientist. I started wondering if I could see trends in the nature of my writing from my blog during particular phases and times. In a broader sense, I wonder if AI as applied to language analysis can be used by people to detect trends in mood and mental state that might go undetected due to lack of resources for a formal therapist or psychoanalyst. In just the brief analysis of my first month’s posts from my blog in seminary I noticed that anger and fear are the predominate emotions in the writing. It is a deep interest of mine to continue to analyze the posts of my blog and compare the outputs on IBM Watson to the writings of other poets and writers. I’d be curious to see if there are trends in writers who have died via suicide to those who lived full lives to an old age. In this investigation, the confessional poets of the 50’s and 60’s are of great interest. Furthermore, I am interested in comparisons to artists of other racial groups and cultures. Trap music lyrics immediately come to mind.

I am thinking of turning this Medium into a data science and poetry blog as a prelude to making tools, apps and websites, for teaching people how to write in a therapeutic way and eventually invite them into a conversation. It’s an “interesting” (terrifying) brave new world that we face where AI’s might be used to psychologically profile people electronically. Many people at places like MIT seem to love the idea, see this recent Technology Review article. A friend from Atlanta who has a brother with schizophrenia recently started NeuroLex.

His startup uses voice samples to “diagnose” states such as psychosis. He is on the right track. However, my approach is different than his. He desires to install machine learning/AI voice analysis devices into mental health care facilities. My desire is to give people the tools to avoid entering into these mental health care facilities in the first place. My greatest fear of AI is not of the technology itself, it is of it’s ability to oppress and control people who suffer from conditions that might appear to an AI as “mentally ill.” I “came out of the closet” pretty much immediately after I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder I in 2010 at MIT and have learned a great deal about how people with mental illnesses are viewed, and feared. Jim is doing a good thing, but it’s opposite in the way it should be done. Where is his brother in all this, in the video why is not his brother there? Anyhow, next post will be data visualizations of the data in the spreadsheet along with more analysis of poems from me and others.

Gotta go! Peace 🙂

Just for fun, an IBM Watson Tone Analyzer of the text of this post:

Look, JOY! 🙂 ❤ Clearly, I’m onto something in terms of a good path in life with this. It’s fun to me!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne

“Get a new rollie and go out and skate
Billionaire looking my way I’m on pace
Feeling like Donald Trump back in the day
Don’t beef with no rapper it’s a money race”
– Migos, Bars

The prophets stack cans on shelves not dollars like hustlas on Wall Street in tha Valley or in tha trap,
Trap,
Migos say, “I stack and pray and I stay out the way
It’s a good day today, I’ma pour me an eight,”
They honest, black lives matter, but Lil Wayne the only one,
These guys my anti-heroes, characters in a play,
My kiddies runnin’ off a cliff before they even grown, LHHS schoolin’ ’em in hustlin’,

…to be continued…

I weaponize my lyrics, make an ice breaker and cut a path through ice,
From left to right, same old b.s., crooked Hillary and Il Duce,
Anyone who wants to join the resistance hit me up,
I’m throwing out life lines, useless poetic written on a phone like a Foxconn Chinese assembly line,

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Old Black Dog

My Old Black Dog
There’s a triangle on the wall, a mirror, and La Pieta,

A black man with dreams scowls from the wall,

My feet are warmed by a fire, it’s a grey melancholy day,

Scott Seekins walks by, the one famous Minneapolis artist,
He’s dressed in white, it’s spring, but the fire says otherwise,

I haven’t written a poem in months, I’ve been asleep,

I’ve been asleep for months, waking moments in bed,

Half asleep living in a social media and Internet induced haze,
Afraid of intimacy, afraid of the ups and downs of my love,

I sleep to avoid turmoil, emotions, and thought living in my bed,

Waking for coffee, getting out of the house is a triumph,

If only to change venue, to be around other coffee shop warriors,
For all I know we share more than I know, I mean the fire is warm,

My brain keeps pounding me to find work, not sure where,

Where to start, I mean I’m under snow, awaiting court,

Afraid of rejection, afraid of mania, dear God in heaven,
If you are the broken man in Mother Mary’s lap give me peace,

No one asks to be born, no one asks for any of it, I can’t pray,

I sleep, in my dreams perhaps work is being done, 

My father visited me yesterday in a dream, waking tears and sobs.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Culture Hacking: Trying to Write Human Software that Uplifts People into the Technology Sector

Directly behind the green light and walk sign that you see in this picture is a sharp contrast, the gold encrusted dome of the Georgia Capitol and a set of homeless people. They sit with suitcases on the concrete barrier of the Georgia Capitol front yard.  I am here at Java Monkey before the open mic night for Atlanta poets, thinking about what to write in this blog entry summarizing what I have learned so far after my first week at The Iron Yard’s iOS software development course.  I took this photograph on my drive from The Iron Yard to Java Monkey.  I’m thinking on this topic with the idea that human beings write code for other human beings to use.  This may see elementary, but the human dimension of software coding so far, seems to me to be the most complex aspect of this technical pursuit.  Companies write software for particular applications, for particular target audiences, with a very specific set of intentions.  The demographics of the software development community is predominantly Caucasian males from family backgrounds of high socio-economic status.  Due to the dominance of technology in our modern society, people who code the popular software we use day to day, write the laws for how specific functions of our society operate.  If the laws are written well, the society functions well.  If they are written poorly, the society functions poorly.  To me, homelessness in direct proximity of the Georgia Capitol points to poorly written educational laws.  What if I could write laws in the form of human software that could improve the lives of people like those sleeping on the steps of the Capitol?  If it is successful, it would certainly be of benefit to the larger society.  I am going to use my practical day to day experiences at The Iron Yard to write this “human software”.  My hope is that by detailing simple things, I will achieve the greater goal.  It’s simple to measure the success of this software, successful code is smiles on all of my classmates faces.

We are talking about silly things like this:

if confusedClassmate == true {

stopMyWork()

}

func stopMyWork() {

smileAtConfusedClassmateAndOfferHelp()

}

I am going to have to sit down and think about how to write these functions, so stay tuned to the next blog post for more code.  Culture hacking is hacking of the human mind.  We write in proper Swift code, directions for the humans in the “ideal” Iron Yard boot camp to follow.  Because this code blog is a simple student’s blog and not the teacher these are not instructions.  Rather, they are postulates that can be edited to suit the needs of the entire group.  Culture hacking is like real software hacking, but we are hacking the human mind instead of that of a machine.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Curse of Normality

The Curse of Normality

Ignorance is Strength!
Freedom is Slavery!
War is Peace!

Let me be, Mr. G-Man,
I am not no terrorist,
I did nothing,
I told a few bad jokes,
Posted them to Facebook,
To Twitter, and offered to be a Martyr,
In front of the Muslim Ban Protest,
At the Airport, you see I am not ignorant,
You see, my love was coming back from being with refugees,
You see, I am a lover of all, I see the future in ways you don’t,

Freedom I know is Slavery, bring me the hand cuffs,
I want to cuff myself like I was in restrains in Stanford,
To protect my neck and wrists from my own wishes to slash them,
Freedom is Slavery, to you maybe but to me Freedom is Life,
Go away G-Men, fuck off,

War is Peace, we are headed off a cliff,
Bill Gates warns of climate change induced mass pandemic,
We are not prepared, I told you that and you dragged me to Grady,
I told you that two weeks ago!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mni Wiconi: The iOS App for Water Protectors

deathwhiteman
– Photograph taken in Whiteclay, Nebraska
Tomorrow, I pray that not a single soul dies during the forced removal of all water protectors from the Standing Rock camps. I am already planning how to empower these brave souls and those that follow to replace them this year in the face of an infinitely worse situation with a simple secure tool for getting photographs and videos of treaty violations back to the tribe and into the hands of the United Nations and the People. The People should be the ones who decide what happens to the water, not Washington D.C. in bed with Big Oil. I openly declare war on anyone who violates the sacred nature of what the Water Protectors are doing now in camp. They speak of nonviolence, well my iOS app will be nonviolent. It will be better than any other app out there for taking pictures and videos. These two kinds of data are the Water Protectors ammunition and weapon. I am a Water Protector who makes tools, weapons in this nonviolent war that can be used to prosecute Big Oil and the American government of war crimes. When this fight is over it will be clear who is on the side of Truth and Justice, Peace and Faith. It is time to wake up and remember our ancestors. Tomorrow will be a sad day. The next day, we will go to work and find new sites of resistance. My Standing Rock is my iOS app that securely stores photos and videos in a Tribally owned Cloud data storage site. No Water Protector should trust any big company like Facebook or Google with the best data they have. It will be wiped clean by the Trump administration before you can use it, or will be used to incriminate you. Trust no one, and then you can see where to go. Think upon this for long enough and you make steps and find solutions. We need solutions, quick and fast. The time is short. Stop the Pipelines! Our Pipes are stronger than your Pipes! Our tobacco Pipes are stronger than your oil Pipes! Big Oil prepare for nonlethal, nonviolent war!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment